Central Asia "The Stans"
Central Asia is very safe to travel in, in part because "The Stans" (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) are primarily totalitarian countries and crime is simply not permitted. They are each very different from the other and yet share similar histories. For those who want to truly experience the countries, which one really can't do without guides who know the cultures and languages, I can recommend firstname.lastname@example.org. I found them on the web and wasn't quite sure what to expect but chanced it anyway and was incredibly happy I did. Kahramon and his wife, Kamola, were absolutely fabulous. They arranged my five week trip through the five countries exactly to my specific requests, including going to way off the beaten track petroglyph and ancient ruin sites. They accompanied me and my travel companion throughout Uzbekistan and arranged for local companies/guides and drivers in each of the other countries, but kept in touch with me throughout the entire trip to make sure everything was ok.
In these countries there are so many different and, for most Westerners, bizarre bureaucratic formalities that I was very very glad to have Salomtravel make sure that all the paperwork was in order. (Who would have thought to have stamped sheets of paper from every hotel in UZ so that the next one would accept you? & regardless of prior booking unless one could prove where one spent the previous night, there was no bed available in the inn....) We didn't have any of these problems, but folks we ran into at one of the hotels did. They had tried to do the trip on their own; unfortunately it was now going to cost them much more than it would have had they gone through an agent. & just fyi, my 5 week trip cost for two people cost less than I would have spent on one of the 3 week group tours from UK, Australia or American firms.